It is no secret that Hollywood’s finest directors have had a thing for Formula One races over the years. With so much drama, rivalries, tales and high-speed excitement, one can hardly contain themselves.
In fact, people are just simply crazy over the Formula One races. This craziness and love has given rise to many management companies that have implemented f1 simulators, especially for people who wish to virtually experience the thrill of F1 driving. There are many others who have even tried to replicate the experience of the sport on the films.
Here are three classic films based on the world of Formula One races of all time.
1: Life on the limit (2014)
Starting with one of the latest, ‘Life on the limit’ is a safety documentary made by filmmaker Paul Crowder who had come up with this idea 25 years ago. However, when the film was finally released in the early 2014, F1 races were fatality-free for two decades.
The film puts together a chronological look at how safety evolved and thankfully has improved in this sport over time. The journey in the documentary is sonorously narrated by Michael Fassbender (an Oscar nominee).
Additionally, the star power of this film cannot be understated. All the world champions, namely, Mario Andretti, Jenson Button, Emerson Fittipaldi, Lewis Hamilton, Damon Hill, Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sebastian Vettel have been featured as interviewees along with influential power-brokers Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley, Ros Dennis and others.
The way with which Stewart’s generation spoke regarding the way they dealt with the death of their friends and colleagues and the superhuman efforts that are required for their wives and partners to rebuild a life afterwards struck a chord with the viewing audience. It might make you a little uncomfortable but it is a very compelling watch.
Did you know?
Curious F1 fans will notice that the film’s producers have mixed up footage from both the 1994 Adelaide held Australian Grand Prix and the 1996 Melbourne held race while narrating the story of Martin Brundle’s infamous 1996 stint with the Jordan F1 team.
2: Senna (2010)
Senna is the film that got motorsport biopic back in fashion – and how! The film is based on three-time world champion, Ayrton Senna, and covers the life story of such a great figure with huge responsibility and nous.
The film’s director Asif Kapadia was provided unprecedented access to the FOM film archives. It is because of this reason viewers could see some incredible footage, best scenes from the inside the drivers’ briefing room, where Senna’s sense of right and wrong was exposed.
The film however turns a blind eye towards the view of F1 during Senna’s best years. On the other hand, his rival Alain Prost is constantly being derided for getting too close to FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre. However, there was no mention of Senna’s below the belt tactics on his team mate at Estoril in 1988 or at Imola in the following year.
There was even no reference made to the rate of breakdown of Nigel Mansell’s Williams in 1991, which basically gave the Brazilian a clear run to the crown. However, the movie leaves us with a slightly skewed yet wonderfully crafted depiction of the legendary F1 racer and is incredibly entertaining.
Did you know?
The director, Asif Kapadia, also followed up Senna with a documentary about Amy Winehouse, Amy, in the year 2015.
3: Weekend of a Champion (1972)
As the name suggests, it is filmed over a weekend (actually a bit more than that). This documentary is the ultimate classic as it brings together the most famous racing driver and film director of that time (the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix).
As Sir Jackie Stewart and Roman Polanski were good friends, and the documentary gave the viewers an unprecedented access to the sights and sounds of the sport. The documentary takes us into the JYS’s philosophy on racing, his forthright views on the circuit safety and the affection he shared for Frenchman Francois Cevert and his dashing Tyrrell team mate who he was nurturing as his own natural successor.
This movie is a must watch for all the F1 fans as they would certainly enjoy learning and understanding the historic knowledge of the sport.
Did you know?
The Monaco Formula Three race, the one Stewart and Polanski are shown watching during the film, featured some future F1 drivers, namely, Patrick Depailler, jean-Pierre Jabouille and Roger Williamson.